One day, during my stay in Malaga, Spain, at the beginning of May, I decided with my friend to wake up earlier in the morning and take the train to Cordoba. After one hour and half, arrived, with no specific plan or list with the main touristic “must see / must do” objectives there. Well, at some point, during the train trip, I felt a little confused seeing our neighbors, a lovely retired British couple, carefully doing their homework while comparing maps and touristic guides … but, thank God, my guilt sensation disappeared easy.
When I am travelling for holiday, I dislike following the classical paths of top attractions and rather preferring to discover step by step the place, feel the atmosphere, discover the architecture, embrace design, observe people, smile, and taste the local flavors of food or lifestyle. Of course, I cannot ignore the background of school education in history or geography and general knowledge, so, each place has some little flags in my mind associated to a topic or another.
I invite you now to step together and discover the pulse of the city, in a relaxed one day walk through amazing Cordoba, in 75 images. One more thing before start: Cordoba, also called Cordova, is a city in Andalusia, Southern Spain, and former Roman settlement; it was colonized by Muslim armies in the eighth century, then became the capital of the Islamic Emirate. The historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first building caught my attention while approaching the center was Palacio de la Merced, that in old times was the monastery of Mercedarian monks, and nowadays it houses the Diputación of Cordoba. It was built in XVIII century. The central cloister, with its porch, and the baroque fountain, are very interesting, and so is the imperial ladder of colored marbles covered with a dome that has a high artistic value. Inside its courtyards and rooms, Merced Palace houses interesting national and international exhibitions.
Moving forward, we arrived in Plaza de las Tendillas, a big, impressive square, surrounded by genuine jewels of architecture pieces, with an equestrian statue pf Gran Capitan in the middle.
Going down on one street from here, passed by the Roman ruins and discovered San Pablo Church, behind beautiful old wooden doors, with a front courtyard, green, silent, full of relaxing shade and coolness. Baroque splendor.
While approaching the heart, the historical old center, streets became narrower and offered the irresistible temptations through lots of patios, hidden gems of each courtyard. The narrower is famous Calleja de las Flores, between white houses and lots of geranium flowers, a delight for hungry eyes.
After a lunch break with Salmorejo, the tasty Spanish chill tomato soup, we entered the famous Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba, first inside the interesting interior garden, a clear indication of its Muslim origins. Built in the 8th century, it belongs to Medieval modern era. The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is the most important monument of the entire Western Islamic world, and one of the most amazing in the world. The evolution of the “Omeya” style in Spain is resumed in the history of the Mosque of Cordoba, as well as other styles such as the Moorish, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque of the Christian architecture, with a strong presence of Roman columns and arches.
The building is most notable for its arcaded hypo-style hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple which had occupied the site previously, as well as other destroyed Roman buildings,
It’s very complex all this unexpected style mix, sometimes too heavy, but overall fascinating and I think its enormous size and surface is the key that saves it, avoiding to become an architectural kitsch.
Plaza Eltej Nahmias was a welcomed silent spot for mind and body relax after the overwhelming two hours spent visiting Mezquita.
After all these, we enjoyed some frozen yogurt and chocolate gaufre, then went again on narrow streets with creative decor patios and relaxed views, getting back, slowly, to the train station.
And here is my favorite place from Cordoba, an art exhibition space from Plaza Eliej Nahmias, which welcomed us with unexpected coolness, deep silence and slow water splashing. A dream home, so inspiring and full of good vibes. #goodvibesonly
Photo credits: personal archive Ruxandra Chiurtu